LA Times Crossword 12 Feb 19, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Roland Huget
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Strops

Themed answers each comprise three words, starting with STR- O- and P-:

  • 20A. 100-mile-an-hour fastball, often : STRIKE-OUT PITCH
  • 25A. Classy neckwear : STRING OF PEARLS
  • 42A. Bike storage bags, e.g. : STRAP-ON POUCHES
  • 47A. What a plus sign indicates on a golf match scoreboard : STROKES OVER PAR

Bill’s time: 6m 36s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Enjoys Breckenridge, say : SKIS

Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado has been operating since 1961.

9. “If I Had a Hammer” singer Lopez : TRINI

Trini Lopez is a noted singer and guitarist from Dallas, Texas. He is perhaps best known for his international hit “If I Had a Hammer” from 1963, as well as “Lemon Tree” from 1965.

“If I Had a Hammer” is a song written in 1949 by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays. The song has been released by many artists, but my guess would be that the most famous recordings are by Peter, Paul and Mary in 1962, and by Trini Lopez in 1963.

17. Metered work, usually : POEM

The meter of a poem is its rhythmic structure.

18. Duck that lends its name to a color : TEAL

The beautiful color teal takes it name from the duck called a teal, which has dark greenish-blue (teal) markings on its head and wings.

20. 100-mile-an-hour fastball, often : STRIKE-OUT PITCH

That would be baseball.

24. Stein filler : ALE

A stein is a type of beer glass. The term is German in origin, and is short for “Steinkrug” meaning “stone jug”. “Stein” is German for “stone”.

25. Classy neckwear : STRING OF PEARLS

Pearls form in oysters because of a reaction that is similar to an immune system response in higher animals. The pearl is formed as the oysters lays down successive layers of calcium carbonate around some microscopic foreign body that has penetrated the shell.

35. Summer Games org. : IOC

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was founded in 1894, and has its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

58. Wonderland cake message : EAT ME

In Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, Alice follows the white rabbit down a rabbit hole and finds a bottle labelled “DRINK ME”. When she drinks the contents, it causes her to shrink. She also sees a cake adorned with the words “EAT ME” written using currants, and when she eats the cake she grows so big she finds it hard to stand up. After eating the cake, she utters the words, “Curiouser and curiouser”.

59. Morales of “NYPD Blue” : ESAI

The actor Esai Morales is best known in the world of film for the 1987 movie “La Bamba”, which depicted the life of Ritchie Valens and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Esai). On the small screen, Morales plays Lt. Tony Rodriguez on “NYPD Blue” and Joseph Adama on “Caprica”.

“NYPD Blue” is a police drama that was originally aired in 1993, and ran until 2005. Stars of the show are Dennis Franz, David Caruso, Jimmy Smits and Rick Schroder. The show created a bit of a fuss back in the nineties, as it featured a relatively large amount of nudity for broadcast television.

61. Jacket material : TWEED

Tweed is a rough woolen fabric that is very much associated with Scotland in the UK, and with County Donegal in Ireland. The cloth was originally called “tweel”, the Scots word for “twill”. Apparently a London merchant misinterpreted some handwriting in the early 1800s and assumed the fabric was called “tweed”, a reference to the Scottish River Tweed, and the name stuck …

63. Fiddling emperor : NERO

The Great Fire of Rome raged for five and a half days in 64 AD. Of the fourteen districts of Rome, three were completely destroyed and seven more suffered serious damage. The emperor at the time was Nero, although reports that he fiddled, played his lyre or sang while the city burned; those accounts are probably not true. In fact, Nero was staying outside of Rome when the fire started and rushed home on hearing the news. He organized a massive relief effort, throwing open his own home to give shelter to many of the citizens who were left living on the street.

Down

5. Glossy fabric : SATEEN

Sateen is a cotton fabric. It has a weave that is “four over, one under”, meaning that most of the threads come to the surface to give it a softer feel.

6. Layered Nabisco treat : OREO

If you take a close look at the embossed design on the front and back of an Oreo cookie, you’ll spot the main elements of the Nabisco logo. Those elements are an oval with a cross on top, a cross with two bars. Usually the company name “Nabisco” is inside the oval, but for the cookie it’s the brand name “Oreo”. The current embossed design was introduced 1952.

7. Belle’s counterpart : BEAU

A beau (plural “beaux”) is the boyfriend of a belle, a young lady. “Beau” and “belle” are the masculine and feminine forms of the French word for “handsome, beautiful”.

10. Herbal brew : RED TEA

Red tea is made from the leaves of the South African Rooibos plant.

11. Apple since 1998 : IMAC

The iMac is a desktop computer platform that Apple introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is an “all-in-one” design, with the computer console and monitor integrated. The iMac also came in a range of colors, that Apple marketed as “flavors”, such strawberry, blueberry and lime.

21. Songwriter Kristofferson : KRIS

Singer Kris Kristofferson was born in Brownsville, Texas and was the son of a USAF Major General. Indeed, Kristofferson’s paternal grandfather was also a military officer, but in the Swedish Army. Kristofferson himself went into the US Army and served in West Germany, achieving the rank of Captain.

25. Slap the puck toward the goal : SHOOT

A slap shot in ice hockey involves slapping the ice just behind the puck with the stick, causing the stick to bend and store up extra energy. When the stick finally hits the puck, all that extra energy is released along with the energy from the swing resulting in the hardest shot in hockey.

26. Get to the point? : TAPER

I used to think that the word “taper” was used for a slender candle because said candle was “tapered” in shape, but it’s exactly the opposite. It turns out that our word “tapered” comes from the candle. “Taper” and “tapur” are Old English words meaning “candle”. From these nouns arose the verb “to taper” meaning “shoot up like flame”. This meaning evolved into “become slender” from the idea that a candle’s flame has such a shape.

27. Cameroon neighbor : GABON

The nation of Gabon lies on the west coast of Central Africa. Since it became independent from France in 1960, Gabon has become one of the most prosperous countries on the continent, by making use of the abundant natural resources and willing foreign investment.

The Republic of Cameroon is on the west coast of Africa. One of Cameroon’s claims to fame is having a great national soccer team, one that often seems to do well in the FIFA World Cup.

29. Middle Corleone brother : FREDO

Fredo Corleone is a middle son in the Corleone family that features in Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather”. He was considered the weak son, and was reduced to the role of “gopher”. Fredo was with his father when Don Corleone was shot, and although he tried to retaliate as the shooting took place, he dropped his gun. On the screen, Fredo was played by Italian-American actor John Cazale.

31. Rich ore deposits : LODES

A lode is a metal ore deposit that’s found between two layers of rock or in a fissure. The mother lode is the principal deposit in a mine, usually of gold or silver. “Mother lode” is probably a translation of “veta madre”, an expression used in mining in Mexico.

40. Dressed like a chef : APRONED

In Old French, a “naperon” was “small table-cloth”. The term was absorbed into English as “napron”, describing a cloth used to cover the front of a person at work. Over time, “a napron” was heard as “an apron”, giving us our contemporary noun “apron”.

43. Typical chalet : A-FRAME

An A-frame house is one that has a steeply-angled roof, one forming the shape of the letter “A”. The A-frame design is popular in snowy regions, as the roof is so steeply pitched that it does not collect snow.

47. Side with a sandwich : SLAW

The term “coleslaw” is an Anglicized version of the Dutch name “koolsla”, which in itself is a shortened form of “Koolsalade” meaning “cabbage salad”.

48. Head of Haiti : TETE

The Republic of Haiti occupies the smaller, western portion of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. The rest of the island is taken up by the Dominican Republic. Haiti is one of only two nations in the Americas to have French as an official language, the other being Canada.

51. Avocado shape : OVAL

The wonderful avocado comes from a tree that is native to Mexico and Central America. The avocado fruit is sometime called an avocado pear, because of its shape, even though it is not related to the pear at all. The fruit might also be referred to as an alligator pear, due to the roughness of the green skin of some avocado cultivars.

52. Canapé spread : PATE

Pâté is a rich spreadable paste made up of a mixture of ground meat and fat, to which various vegetables, herbs and spices may be added. The most famous version of the paste is pâté de foie gras, which is made from the fattened livers of geese (“foie gras” means “fat liver” in French).

A canapé is a finger food, something small enough to eat in just one bite. In French, “canapé” is actually the word for a couch or a sofa. The name was given to the snack as the original canapés were savories served on toasted or stale bread that supposedly resembled a tiny couch.

54. San __, Italy : REMO

The Italian city of San Remo sits on the Mediterranean, right on the border with France. In Italian, the city is named “Sanremo”, just one word. That said, the spelling “San Remo” dates back to ancient times.

55. “__ it?”: “Comprende?” : GET

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Enjoys Breckenridge, say : SKIS
5. Cries out loud : SOBS
9. “If I Had a Hammer” singer Lopez : TRINI
14. In the past : ONCE
15. Geometry calculation : AREA
16. Pay by mail : REMIT
17. Metered work, usually : POEM
18. Duck that lends its name to a color : TEAL
19. Word from the wise : ADAGE
20. 100-mile-an-hour fastball, often : STRIKE-OUT PITCH
23. Vent opening? : PRE-
24. Stein filler : ALE
25. Classy neckwear : STRING OF PEARLS
33. Total confusion : CHAOS
34. Made public : AIRED
35. Summer Games org. : IOC
36. Admission of fault : OOPS!
37. Less clumsy : ABLER
38. Back up a step, as in an app : UNDO
39. “__ is me!” : WOE
40. For all to hear : ALOUD
41. Good feature : ASSET
42. Bike storage bags, e.g. : STRAP-ON POUCHES
45. Partner of to : FRO
46. 22.5 deg. : NNE
47. What a plus sign indicates on a golf match scoreboard : STROKES OVER PAR
55. Pick up gradually : GLEAN
56. Crafted, as a tale : WOVE
57. Keep for later : SAVE
58. Wonderland cake message : EAT ME
59. Morales of “NYPD Blue” : ESAI
60. Express line unit : ITEM
61. Jacket material : TWEED
62. Bakery product : ROLL
63. Fiddling emperor : NERO

Down

1. Soaks (up) : SOPS
2. Wood imperfection : KNOT
3. Cake finisher : ICER
4. Part-time players : SEMI-PROS
5. Glossy fabric : SATEEN
6. Layered Nabisco treat : OREO
7. Belle’s counterpart : BEAU
8. Basic food preservative : SALT
9. Was behind in the match : TRAILED
10. Herbal brew : RED TEA
11. Apple since 1998 : IMAC
12. Soon to happen : NIGH
13. Suffix with urban : -ITE
21. Songwriter Kristofferson : KRIS
22. School research assignment : PAPER
25. Slap the puck toward the goal : SHOOT
26. Get to the point? : TAPER
27. Cameroon neighbor : GABON
28. Prepare for a bodybuilding competition : OIL UP
29. Middle Corleone brother : FREDO
30. Salon procedure : RINSE
31. Rich ore deposits : LODES
32. Many a clan member : SCOT
33. Farm moms : COWS
37. “Take __ at this!” : A LOOK
38. Signals the arrival of, as a new era : USHERS IN
40. Dressed like a chef : APRONED
41. Embarrassing spots : ACNE
43. Typical chalet : A-FRAME
44. Launch, as a new product : UNVEIL
47. Side with a sandwich : SLAW
48. Head of Haiti : TETE
49. Vessel with a spout : EWER
50. Ho-hum : SO-SO
51. Avocado shape : OVAL
52. Canapé spread : PATE
53. Say with certainty : AVER
54. San __, Italy : REMO
55. “__ it?”: “Comprende?” : GET

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14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 12 Feb 19, Tuesday”

    1. Tim Croce: 2:40:14 (total elapsed time from start to finish), no errors. Some of the time was spent on a couple of long phone conversations and another (easy) puzzle, but those interruptions can be viewed as a necessary part of the solve, which was indeed a very difficult one for me.

  1. Good puzzle, but had a problem with 12D. After filling in all the across words, nigh looked strange to me. Never heard it before. I’m sure I’ll get a lashing for admitting this.

  2. 8:03, no errors. Pretty standard grid, even if the ‘theme’ is kind of hard to express. It’s kind of STRange that way…

  3. Hello every buddy!!🐔

    No errors. Strange theme! It’s just letters, nothing about a STROP altho that’s what the letters spell. Wonder if we’re missing something…?🤔 I don’t see it….

    Poor Fredo!! John Cazale was an amazing actor– he was in 4 highly regarded films in the 70s and he died young, I think at 49. He was in the Godfather, Godfather 2, Dog Day Afternoon, and the Deer Hunter!!! Never a household name — except to other actors. 🎬

    Be well~~🌺🌼🌻

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